CINCINNATI - Miss Kelly's class at Taft Elementary School in Mt. Auburn was busy working on anti-bullying works of art even before the official announcement of an art contest of that theme was made by Cincinnati police and the city's school district.
Posters adorn the halls proclaiming "Anti Bully Zones."
One 11-year-old student was drawing comic books.
"It's about a bigger kid in a different grade bullying on this little kid...in pre-school," he said of his work.
Another sixth grader even wrote a song about the issue.
Bullying is a painful crucible for many in the class. Many of the kids in this class have been tormented by bullies. The students say they are bullied for their height, weight, even the TV shows they like. Bullied physically, verbally and even over the Internet.
Most painfully endure it. Some of the kids shared their own experiences. (Due to the nature of their conversation, 9 News has elected to not publish their names.)
"It didn't make me feel good at all," said one.
"It makes me feel sad...and hurtful," agreed another.
There was at least one on the verge of giving up.
"I took my knife that my cousin gave me, and I almost slit my throat," said an 11-year-old student.
That burden is shouldered by everyone in the room.
"It scares me every day about people killing their lives because they're bullied," added a sixth grader.
As the fifth and sixth graders discussed bullying, the same theme was brought up over and over again: suicide.
"I don't want to think about it," said one sixth grader. "But it happens."
And the 11-year-old who almost killed himself?
Fortunately, he mustered the courage to put down the knife.
"I had a change of heart," he said. "I stopped and I said, I'll give it another chance."
Courage that spawns optimism among his friends that things will get better.
"I think one day, this bullying is gonna stop," hopes a fifth grader. "One day it will."
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